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Making the most of psychometric tools for recruiting in your business

John Nelligan


Psychometric tests have become an integral part of the recruitment process, especially when hiring for senior management roles in larger organisations.

Some may disagree with this approach, arguing that it involves ‘labelling’ people or may lead to an unfair selection process where potentially good candidates are rejected on the basis of ‘woolly’ theories and perceived personality flaws.

However, the reality is that psychometric assessments are widely used by recruitment specialists for a number of reasons.

What are the advantages of using assessment tools and how can you get the maximum benefit from them?  

For any business to be successful, it is essential to have the right structure in place and this includes the right people. Psychometrics tests are a great tool to ensure you have the right people in your business at the right time. There are 2 main advantages listed out below.

1. Psychometric tests are a good tool to assessing people’s values and motivating factors.

Attitude, shared values and vision are the most important criteria for choosing the right candidate most skills are trainable, after all. For example, if a potential employee is deeply committed to helping meet the needs of other people, this candidate would be a good match for a company that feels strongly about improving the quality of life of its customers.

2. The tests can quickly & clearly identify a candidate’s strengths and skills

Another essential rule for creating successful teams and organisations is to focus on people’s strengths and assign them roles accordingly. It is not always obvious what these strengths are and tests can be a good starting point to identifying them.

A common mistake when appointing a new manager is promoting a talented team member without taking into consideration their other attributes. A good software developer will of course have strong technical skills, but this doesn’t necessarily make them the right person to lead a team; this depends on their personality and people management skills.

Choosing the right assessment tool for your business

When choosing an assessment tool it is important to understand that certain characteristics can change depending on the situation.

If you are looking for a potential manager:

If the sole purpose of assessment is the person’s style and potential as a manager, there is an excellent tool developed by Selection Testing Consultants Intl called ManagementPro. This report consists of management profile, management style, and communication style and attitude survey.

It measures the candidate’s enterprising potential, achievement potential, independence potential, comfort with conflict and emotional quotient. It also contains an optional sales management function, which is very useful when assessing the candidate’s potential as a sales manager.

Another useful assessment tool, NEO, developed by PsyPro Corporation, measures the Big Five’ personality traits: Negative Emotionality, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

If you are looking to hire new roles internally:

There is an assessment tool that focuses solely on identifying candidates’ strengths – StrengthsFinder by Gallup. Their results are pretty accurate and tend not to change with time as they focus on people’s innate talents rather than acquired skills. This works especially well when recruiting internally, to compare current employee’s strengths and weaknesses – helping to conclude who is more suited to a particular role.

If you are looking for a candidate to work with in team frame work:

Belbin tests give a great insight into preferred roles for a candidate within a team framework, analyse their strengths and possible weaknesses and make suggestions for an interview questions and the best placement options for them. However, this assessment is not based on intrinsic qualities and such preferences can and would change according to the person’s experience at work.

Psychometric assessments – the way forward in recruitment?  

With my experience as a business advisor to SMEs, I have come to the conclusion that psychometric assessments are invaluable tools for hiring and nurturing management talent and they should be used at all stages of selection, interviewing, hiring and developing managers.

Since most of the tests are quite sophisticated, it is always advisable to engage a trained professional to choose the right set of tests, interpret and apply the results.

Business Doctors can support you with psychometric assessments and profiling canditates, find out more here or get in touch for more information.